The Underground Map


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Belgravia ·
October
19
2019

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.


In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.

As maps are displayed, click on the markers to view location articles.

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.

Latest on The Underground Map...
Victoria Coach Station
Victoria Coach Station is the largest coach station in London. It serves as a terminus for many medium- and long-distance coach services in the United Kingdom and is also the departure point for many countryside coach tours originating from London.

Victoria Coach Station was opened at its present site in Buckingham Palace Road in 1932, by London Coastal Coaches, a consortium of coach operators. The building is in a distinctive Art Deco style, the architects for which were Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. In 1970 the coach operators’ association which managed the station became a subsidiary of the National Bus Company.

In 1988, ownership of Victoria Coach Station Limited was transferred to London Transport. In 2000, Transport for London was formed and took over the station.

The freeholder of the site, Grosvenor Group, announced in 2013 that it wishes to redevelop the site and relocate the station elsewhere in London. However, the building was listed at Grade II by English Heritage in 2014.

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Featured articles

DECEMBER
31
2018

 

Carlton Gardens, SW1Y
Carlton Gardens was developed before 1832. The cul-de-sac, named after the demolished Carlton House, contains seven large houses.

Lord Kitchener once lived at Number 2 and Number 4 was home to Lord Palmerston for a time and later served as Charles de Gaulle’s government in exile, Free France.

Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, resided on 2 Carlton Gardens from October 2016 to July 2018.

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DECEMBER
30
2018

 

Burlington Gardens, W1S
Burlington Gardens, with houses dating from 1725, was laid out on land that was once part of the Burlington Estate. Burlington Gardens was once part of Vigo Lane (or Vigo Street). The section behind Burlington House was renamed Burlington Gardens by 1831. Prior to that, it was part of Glasshouse Street.

The street joins Old Bond Street and New Bond Street in the west and Vigo Street in the east.

On the south side of Burlington Gardens is one end of the Burlington Arcade.
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DECEMBER
29
2018

 

St George’s Square, SW1V
St Georges Square is a long narrow space reaching to the river with an enclosed garden in the centre. At the eastern end is St. George’s Square (1850), a long narrow space reaching to the river with an enclosed garden in the centre. The houses are large. At No. 9 Sir J. Barnby d. 1896.

At the north end is St Saviour’s Church, built in 1864 from designs by Cundy in a Decorated Gothic style.
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DECEMBER
28
2018

 

Passmore Street, SW1W
Passmore Street, formerly Union Street, contains a social mix. Passmore Street contains both expensive modern private homes, cheek by jowl with social housing which is still owned and managed by the Grosvenor Estate.

Lumley Flats, built in 1875, was built by philanthropists to house the poor in the 19th century.
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DECEMBER
27
2018

 

Old Barrack Yard, SW1X
Old Barrack Yard is a narrow street of terraced cottages. It was originally the entrance to a cow pasture until a barracks for a regiment of Foot Guards was built in 1758.

In 1826 the area was leased by corn merchant Thomas Phillips who in 1830 built a maze of narrow streets, cottages and stables.
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DECEMBER
26
2018

 

St Thomas Street, SE1
St Thomas Street is an extremely old thoroughfare. St Thomas’s Hospital was sited here from about 1215 until 1862 when it was moved for the construction of London Bridge Station. The church here houses the Old Operating Theatre (used 1821-62) in the attic floor.

Within a courtyard is the chapel of Guy’s Hospital and a statue of its founder Thomas Guy.

The road now runs along one of the newest London landmarks - The Shard.
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DECEMBER
25
2018

 

Charville Lane, UB4
Charville Lane is an ancient lane of Hayes running east-west. Originally the road connected Pole Hill Road and went as far as West End Road. Since through traffic cannot travel the whole route, the detached section at the eastern end takes an alternative spelling: Sharvel Lane.

While the area between Woodrow Avenue, Kingshill Avenue, and Charville Lane was built up in the late 1930s, Charville Lane is remarkably rural considering its location, with farmland bordering it along much of its length. The soil, described in 1876 as ’clay, loam, and gravel’ is watered by a stream which crosses the road, the Yeading Brook, and which forms part of the eastern boundary of Hayes.


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DECEMBER
24
2018

 

Catherine Street, WC2E
Catherine Street runs from Russell Street in the north to Aldwych in the south. Catherine Street was originally laid out in the 1630s by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford. When built it was closed at its southern end near its junction with Exeter Street. The southern end was the garden wall of Exeter House and the back of the White Hart Inn in the Strand.

Until the nineteenth century it was called Brydges Street after the fourth earl’s wife.

The street is now part of the theatre district of London’s West End and includes the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Duchess Theatre and the Novello Theatre.

The public houses in the street include Nell of Old Drury and the Opera Tavern. The Opera Tavern was built in 1879 to a design by the architect George Treacher.
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DECEMBER
23
2018

 

Brompton Road, SW1X
Brompton Road lies partly in Westminster and partly in Kensington and Chelsea. As an official name, Brompton Road did not exist until 1863. Until 1935 Brompton Road extended only as far as the junction with Thurloe Place, after which Fulham Road began.

There was always a lot of traffic on this old road, which linked London with parts of Surrey. From 1726 to 1826 the road was maintained by the Kensington Turnpike Trustees and was a turnpike.

Before this, the Kensington parish boundary enclosed a thin corridor encompassing Brompton Road up to Knightsbridge Green on the north, and up to the lane later to become Sloane Street on the south.

Until the 1760s, little development had occurred on the road with the land around being horticultural with nurseries.

Development commenced in 1763 in several places along both sides of the eastern part of Brompton Road, as far as Yeoman’s Row on the south and Brompton Square on the north, during the 1763-4 London building boom in London.

The street bec...
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DECEMBER
22
2018

 

Oliphant Street, W10
Oliphant Street was the final alphabetical street on the original Queen’s Park Estate naming scheme. The Manor and Parish of Chelsea owned an enclave - covering Kensal Town and Queen’s Park - until 1901 when it was divided between Kensington and Paddington. Kensal Town went to the former and the other side of the Harrow Road to the latter.

The north section was developed in 1875 by the Artizans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company, who were the landlords until 1964. The north-south streets of their grid were numbered 1-6 and euphemistically entitled ’avenues’ : First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The remaining streets were simply labelled A Street through to O Street.

Eight years later it was decided that even artisans and labourers deserved a little better. A became Alperton, after the Company’s brickyard in Middlesex, and was followed by Barfett, Caird, Droop (after H R. Droop, Artizans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company Director 1877-1883), Enbrook, Farrant (Sir Richard Farrant, Director 1877-1906), Ga...
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DECEMBER
21
2018

 

Wilton Place, SW1X
Wilton Place was built in 1825 to connect Belgravia with Knightsbridge. Wilton Place stands on the site of a cow yard, and is a broad street with fine houses on the east side. Here is St. Paul’s Church, celebrated for the ritualistic tendencies of its successive vicars. The building by Cundy is handsome, in Early Perpendicular style, and has sittings for 1,800. It was enlarged and altered in 1889 and 1892, when a side-chapel, by Blomfield, was added. Adjoining is the Vicarage, and opposite are St. Paul’s National Schools.

Wilton Place is the location of The Berkeley, a five star hotel. Also St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge can be found there. The church was built in 1843 by subscription and sited on the drill ground of the former barracks. It cost £11,000 with the site being donated by the Marquis of Westminster.

Both Lillie Langtry and botanist, William Bentham have lived in the street.

The Berkeley stands on the site of what was Esmeralda’s Barn. This was a nightclub given to Reggie Kray by the slum landlord Peter Rachman.
»read full article


DECEMBER
19
2018

 

Warren Street, W1T
Warren Street was named after Anne Warren (1737–1807), the wife of Charles FitzRoy, landowner. Charles FitzRoy was 1st Baron Southampton and was the local land owner, responsible for the development of the area. His grandfather had built the New Road (Euston Road).

Late in the eighteenth century, the Euston Road had started to urbanise and a parallel track to its south had been established which provide access to the rear of the new houses.

During 1791, FitzRoy went to work building Warren Street, along the line of the rough track. A variety of builders were employed in the development leading to different styles, though generally the houses are three-storey terraces.

Warren Street was named after his wife, Anne Warren. Her father had founded New York’s Greenwich Village and there are other Warren Streets in North America as a result.

Warren Street became popular place at first with artists and engravers. After the First World War, the motor trade made Warren Street (and Great Portland Street) their home for the next...
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DECEMBER
18
2018

 

Hamilton Place, W1J
Hamilton Place lies just to the north of Hyde Park Corner. Hamilton Place - initially Hamilton Street - came into being at the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the person of Charles II.

Charles granted James Hamilton, a ranger of Hyde Park and later groom of the bedchamber, a corner of land which had been excluded from Hyde Park when it was walled. A street bearing Hamilton’s name (which eventually became Hamilton Place) was constructed from Piccadilly to the park wall but the houses on it were small with none of the elegance which later came to be associated with the area.

Towards the end of the 18th century, by which time Hamilton’s lease had been acquired by others, the houses in Hamilton Street were said to be “in a ruinous condition and intended to be removed.” They were replaced by a row of houses with a view over the park. Plans were then produced to build three new houses on Piccadilly to make a symmetrical group. Those surviving (141–144 Piccadilly) were demolished in the early 1970s, at t...
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DECEMBER
17
2018

 

Northern Outfall Sewer
The Northern Outfall Sewer (NOS) is a major gravity sewer which runs from Wick Lane in Hackney to Beckton sewage treatment works. Most of the system was designed by Joseph Bazalgette after an outbreak of cholera in 1853 and the "Great Stink" of 1858.

Prior to this work, central London’s drains were built primarily to cope with rain water, and the growing use of flush toilets frequently meant that they became overloaded, flushing sewage and industrial effluent into the River Thames.

Bazalgette’s London sewerage system project included the construction of intercepting sewers north and south of the Thames; the Southern Outfall Sewer network diverts flows away from the Thames south of the river.

In total five interceptor sewers were constructed north of the Thames; three were built by Bazalgette, two were added 30 years later:

The northernmost (High Level Sewer) begins on Hampstead Hill and is routed past Kentish Town and Stoke Newington and under Victoria Park to the start of the Northern Outfall Sewer at Wick Lane. Two middle level sewers ser...
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DECEMBER
16
2018

 

Chancery Lane, WC2A
Chancery Lane has formed the western boundary of the City of London since 1994, having previously been divided between the London boroughs of Westminster and Camden. Chancery Lane originates from before 1161 as a ’new lane’. It was created by the Knights Templar from the ’Old Temple’ on the site of the Southampton Buildings on Holborn, in order to access their newly acquired property (the present Temple).

The street takes its name from the historic High Court of Chancery established in 1161 when Robert de Chesney, Bishop of Lincoln, acquired the ’old Temple’.

On the eastern side was the original site of the Domus Conversorum (House of the Converts), a residence and chapel for Jews who had converted to Christianity, founded by King Henry III in the 13th century.

The site later became the Public Record Office designed by Sir James Pennethorne in 1851. In the latter half of the 20th century, records relocated to Kew. In 2001 it underwent renovation and became the Maughan Library.

Lincoln’s Inn occupies most of the western side of Chancery Lane north of Carey Street.

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DECEMBER
15
2018

 

Blondin Avenue, W5
Blondin Avenue is named after 19th century acrobat Blondin. Jean-François Gravelet was known as Charles Blondin and reknowned for his acrobatic feats such as tightrope crossings of Niagara Falls. During one of these he carried his manager on his back and on another he stopped halfway across to cook an omelette.

Blondin performed in London where Charles Dickens said: "half of London is here eager for some dreadful accident".

Blondin retired to Ealing and died at his home Niagara House in 1897. Niagara House and Blondin Avenue were formerly the site of part of Hugh Ronalds’ renowned nursery.

Niagara Avenue is parallel, just to the south of Blondin Avenue.
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DECEMBER
14
2018

 

Albury Street, SE8
Albury Street was originally Union Street - a name commemorating the 1707 union of Scotland and England. A local bricklayer, Thomas Lucas, built houses in Union Street homes from 1706 onwards. The north side of the street still has an original terrace of eighteenth century housing.

Buildings along the street were quite mixed to cater for all classes in this dockyard town - from naval officers to shipbuilders and labourers.

John Gast (1772-1837), author of radical pamphlets and dissenting preacher, lived in the King of Prussia pub.

The street was renamed as Creek Road before it became Albury Street.

Nursery pioneers the McMillan sisters held a Boys’ Night Camp at 24 Albury Street in the early twentieth century which provided poor children with the opportunity to wash and get clean nightclothes. The girls’ camp was held in Evelyn Street.
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DECEMBER
13
2018

 

Cecil Court, WC2H
Cecil Court is a pedestrian street with Victorian shop-frontages.
It links Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane. The street is still owned by the Cecil family who first built it. The buildings there today were built around 1894 during the tenure of another Cecil - Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.

Cecil Court was laid out in the late seventeenth-century on open land between St Martin’s Lane and Leicester Square. Early maps identify a hedgerow running down the street’s course.

Landowner Robert Cecil had been created first Earl of Salisbury by James I after he smoothed over the transition from the house of Tudor to that of the Stuarts. The land on which Cecil Court now stands was purchased in 1609. It had previously been St Martin’s Field. Cecil Court was built on a five acre tract formerly known as Beaumont’s lands, probably in the 1670s.

A substantial part of Cecil Court burned down in 1735. This was almost certainly arson by a Mrs Collowa...
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DECEMBER
12
2018

 

Beeston Place, SW1W
Beeston Place was formerly part of the Grosvenor family estate and the family owned land in Beeston, Cheshire. The first name of the street was Ranelagh Street which itself was renamed as Ebury Street before the northern part began to go under the separate name of Beeston Place.

The oldest roads in the area were what are now Lower Grosvenor Place, Hobart Place, Ebury Street, Beeston Place and Buckingham Palace Road, all of which were established by the mid 18th century, and may be before this. The Rocque map shows a path where Beeston Place would run.

The 1792 Horwood map delineates the line of King’s Row (Buckingham Palace Road). It also shows that Ranelagh Street had been developed, and this street provides the axis by which today’s Grosvenor Gardens were formed. Ranelagh Street, Arabella Row, Belgrave Place and Eaton Street surrounded a block, which was subdivided by Eaton Lane North. Towards the end of the 18th century, the distinctive triangular shape of the northern block of Grosvenor Gardens was emerging.

Thomas Cundy was both the archi...
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DECEMBER
11
2018

 

Ayres Street, SE1
Ayres Street was formerly known as Whitecross Street. Ayres Street changed name in tribute to Alice Ayres - also immortalised in Postman’s Park in the City. Ayres lost her life whilst saving three children from a fire in Union Street in 1885.

John Strype mentions Whitecross Street in his 1720 ’Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster’. He called it "a pretty clean Street, but ordinary Built and Inhabited." It is unknown how long before 1710 that the street was built.

The White Cross Cottages were built in 1890 by social reformer Octavia Hill and designed by Elijah Hoole, as model social housing. They include a hall with interior decoration by Walter Crane.

The dense grain of local small buildings was in part eroded after the Second World War. As redevelopment occurred, larger blocks, occupied by single uses, replaced the Georgian and Victorian houses, shops and warehouses. This is particularly evident in the area between Ayres Street and Southwark Bridge Road.
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DECEMBER
10
2018

 

Mavelstone Road, BR1
Mavelstone Road dates from early in the Edwardian period. Mavelstone Road is an unadopted road - the London Borough of Bromley is not responsible for the road’s maintenance. As a result, Mavelstone Road has retained an high proportion of its original large early 20th century residences. Its character has led it to be designated a Conservation Area by the borough.

’Stotfold’, built in 1908-9, is a grade II listed building and is also on the statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest.

Both Mavelstone Close and Mount Close were developed in the middle 1950s off of Mavelstone Road. Park Farm Road, which adjoins Mavelstone Road, is also unadopted and also has some fine examples of Arts and Crafts residential architecture.
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DECEMBER
9
2018

 

Goodman’s Fields
Goodman’s Fields was a farm beyond the walls of the City. A House of Minoresses - the Abbey of St Clare was established in Aldgate in 1293. The convent ran a farm in the area and the the first recorded tenant was a Mr Trollope, who sold it to Roland Goodman, a wealthy London fishmonger and farmer.

After the Dissolution, the farm became known as Goodman’s Fields. It kept some 30 to 40 head of cattle and was still flourishing in 1601 when the historian John Stowe visited.

An heir of the original Goodman let the field to a variety of small tenants, first as grazing for horses, then for garden-plots and smallholdings, and is said to have lived ‘like a gentleman’ on the proceeds. By 1678, the land was beginning to to be sold off for the construction of housing.

The open ground was bought by Sir John Leman, Lord Mayor of London. His great-nephew William Leman laid out four streets, named after relatives - Mansell Street, Prescot Street, Ayliff Street (Alie Street) and Leman Street. John Strype in...
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DECEMBER
8
2018

 

Goodman’s Yard, E1
Goodman’s Yard is a street between Minories and Mansell Street. There was a glasshouse here before 1641, owned by Sir Bevis Thelwell. This bottles, white and green glasses. In 1661 it provided glassware for the newly-founded Royal Society.

The glasshouse became Jesse Russell’s soap and tallow factory.

There was an early Baptist chapel in Goodman’s Yard, noted in 1682.

In 1710 a ’loyal society’ (a precursor of modern day insurance companies) based at the "Red-Lyon near Goodman’s Yard" published proposals for insurance on the birth of children, and on marriage.

Pigot’s 1824 Metropolitan Guide states that there was an ’Irish Free School’ in Goodman’s Yard, and a report a few years later states that the East London Irish School had 140 male and 120 female pupils, and was partly supported by subscriptions and partly by payments from the children.

Railway viaducts completely changed the scene. A lattice bridge over Prescott Street and Goodman’s Yard, carried ...
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DECEMBER
7
2018

 

Leman Street, E1
Leman Street was named after Sir John Leman. The street was once officially called Red Lion Street but Leman Street was in use concurrently and pronounced like ’lemon’ locally. ’Leman’ was an old term for a mistress or lover. In 1831 the Garrick Theatre but was demolished in 1891 and the police station rebuilt on the site. There was a local German community which supported a ’Christian Home for German Artisans’ (later a German YMCA) and also a private German hotel.

The Eastern Dispensary was set up in Great Alie Street in 1782 by a group of doctors. This moved to new premises in Leman Street in 1858 but closed its doors finally in 1940.

In 1887 the Co-operative Wholesale Society opened the headquarters of its London operations on the corner of Leman Street and Hooper Street. This was a seven-storey structure in brick, granite and Portland stone incorporating a sugar warehouse and a prominent clock tower.


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DECEMBER
6
2018

 

Prescot Street, E1
Prescot Street was named for Rebecca Prescott, wife of William Leman. Prescot Street was originally Great Prescott Street and ran along the south of Goodman’s Fields.

The road was developed for good-quality housing and it became one of the earliest London streets to have numbered buildings (rather than signs). An early resident, before he moved to Soho Square, was the ’rough old admiral’ Sir Cloudesley Shovel.

From the late nineteenth century there was a synagogue in the street, and between 1857 and 1880 the Jewish Widows’ Home Asylum. In the early twentieth century the Association for the Protection of Women and Girls ran a refuge for young girls arriving in London who were deemed at risk from pimps and procurers.

Little Prescot Street was the continuation of Mansell Street, running from the western end of Great Prescot Street to Royal Mint Street; its original name was Rosemary Branch Alley.
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DECEMBER
5
2018

 

Alie Street, E1
Originally called Ayliff Street, Alie Street was named after a relative of William Leman, whose great-uncle, John Leman had bought Goodman’s Fields. Alie Street along with Leman Street, Prescot Street and Mansell Street from the turn of the eighteenth century while Goodman’s Fields was used as a tenterground.

In the 1800s this section of Alie Street was also known as Great Alie Street, with the extension which went east from Leman Street to Commercial Road being known as Little Alie Street.

Alie Street now links Mansell Street with Commercial Road.
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DECEMBER
4
2018

 

Whitehall, SW1A
Whitehall is recognised as the centre of the government of the United Kingdom. The name ’Whitehall’ was used for several buildings in the Tudor period - referring to their colour, consisting of light stone. This included the Royal Palace of Whitehall, which gave its name to the street.

The Palace of Whitehall was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III before its destruction by fire in 1698. Whitehall was originally the road that led to the front of the palace. It was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace.

It became a popular place to live by the 17th century. Oliver Cromwell had moved to Wallingford House in the street in 1647. Two years later, Charles I was carried through Whitehall on the way to his trial at Westminster Hall. Whitehall had sufficient space for a scaffold to be erected for the King’s execution in 1649. Cromwell in turn died at the Palace of Whitehall in 1658.

By the 18th century, traffic struggled along the narrow streets south of Holbein Gate. Th...
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DECEMBER
3
2018

 

Westminster
Westminster - heart of government. While the underground station dates from 1868, Westminster itself is almost as old as London itself. It has a large concentration of London’s historic and prestigious landmarks and visitor attractions, including the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

Historically part of the parish of St Margaret in the City and Liberty of Westminster and the county of Middlesex, the name Westminster was the ancient description for the area around Westminster Abbey – the West Minster, or monastery church, that gave the area its name – which has been the seat of the government of England (and later the British government) for almost a thousand years.

Westminster is the location of the Palace of Westminster, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The area has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years. Westminster is thus ...
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DECEMBER
2
2018

 

Spring Gardens, SW1A
Spring Gardens derives its name from the Spring Garden, formed in the 16th century as an addition to the pleasure grounds of Whitehall Palace. The word ’Spring’ in this sense meant a plantation of young trees, especially one used for rearing game. The Spring Garden was shown on the Agas map as a little copse enclosed with a fence, and there are later references to pheasants and other "wild fowl" being preserved there.

In 1580 the garden was extended with a bowling green, a birdhouse, a bathing pool and the planting of orange trees. Before the end of James I’s reign, the garden had become a semi-public pleasure ground.

In 1631 a Simon Osbaldeston was appointed to keep "the Springe Garden and of the Bowling Greene there."

There was at least one house in Spring Garden as early as 1635 and more house building occurred over the next forty years. Towards the close of the 17th century, part of the Spring Garden had become a refuge for debtors. One of the most notorious was Sir Edward Hungerford and the Board of Greencloth finally to allow creditors to serve processes on...
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DECEMBER
1
2018

 

Fentiman Road, SW8
Fentiman Road is named after local mid-19th century developer John Fentiman. Fentiman Road is a broad, attractive road aligned northwest to southeast and has a leafy residential character.

On the north side, Vauxhall Park has a long frontage enclosed by railings and lends a leafy character to this end. Along from the park gate are the red brick, Tudor-revival Noel Caron Almshouses (1854) which have been established locally since the 17th century. Next to these are a row of 1830s stucco villas.

The south side of Fentiman Road is characterised by late 19th century terraced housing in two distinct groups.

Forming an attractive landmark at the junction with Meadow Road is the Cavalry Church, red brick in the Perpendicular style.
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